April 08 2019

Dubai is a city synonymous with luxury, affluence and some of the world’s most colossal and extraordinary modern architecture. Due to the splendour and wealth running through the veins of the city, the cost of living is naturally quite high, especially when it comes to renting or purchasing Dubai real estate.

Much like London, New York and metropolitan cities the world over, Dubai’s rental market is extortionate. Therefore, expatriates looking to nest in the Emirate for a prolonged time often find it more beneficial and financially-savvy to buy property in Dubai.

With that said, many eager expats have their hand forced to Dubai’s rental market due to fees and outlays.

Dubai mortgages for foreigners require between a 25 and 40 per cent deposit depending on the intended use for the property and real estate agents, solicitors and mortgage brokers in Dubai all charge significant fees. This combination of factors means the initial outlay for buying a house in Dubai is more costly than most can afford, and thus unintentionally pressured into the vicious rental cycle.

Expats are entitled to apply for both residential and buy-to-let mortgages in Dubai, but the applicable terms and conditions vary between both types of purchase.
Previously, foreigners migrating to Middle Eastern countries refused to purchase property due to the uncertainty of the countries and the inability to apply for home loans.

In a 2002 bid to increase international investment and thurst Dubai into the spotlight, a Freehold Decree was issued by Dubai’s crown prince, which allowed foreign nationals to lease, rent, buy and sell leasehold and freehold property. Henceforth, Dubai has become a hotspot for expatriates looking to invest in a lifestyle of grandeur and culture; the Dubai property market offers this.

Dubai City was found to be the most affordable neighbourhood to purchase property in the Emirate, with one-bed apartments averaging at AED 475,000, which converts roughly to £100,700. In stark contrast, Palm Jumeirah has the most expensive property for sale in Dubai, with the average cost of a one-bedroom apartment costing an average of AED 2.4 million, the equivalent of £509,000.

Much to the delight of demented renters or expats longing to make the leap, there is no better time to invest in Dubai properties than now. Dubai property prices appear to be on a steady decline, and they were now approximately 20% cheaper than the asking prices just 18 months ago.


Dubai’s mortgage system is advanced and well-structured, with ample choice of local mortgage brokers in Dubai or mortgage lenders operating on a global scale if you prefer.

Foreigners in Dubai have the opportunity to apply for a mortgage for a live-in property, but they also have the chance to seek expat buy to let mortgages. The deposit requirements fluctuate between the two types of mortgage.

Mortgages for Dubai property that YOU intend to live in generally require a down payment of 25 per cent, but if the purchase price is over AED 5 million, this increases to 35 per cent for your first property. For second, third and fourth homes and so on, you will require a 40 per cent deposit regardless of the purchase price. Homes that are “off-plan” or “under construction” will need a 50 per cent deposit even if this is your first property.

Expat buy-to-let mortgages will usually expect a deposit of 40 per cent as a minimum, and this might be subject to increase for any proceeding purchases.
Much like in the UK, you have the option to choose between a fixed rate and variable rate mortgage and different banks and mortgage brokers in Dubai will offer their own rates, benefits and products, such as specialist first-time buyer mortgages or for buy to let properties in Dubai.


Earlier, we touched on the issue of expatriates being somewhat forced into the rental market, due to the significant initial outlay when purchasing from Dubai’s real estate market.

We’re going to provide a breakdown of the initial pay-out required when you buy a home in Dubai. These figures are based on purchasing a two bedroom apartment for the average price of AED 2.4 million in Dubai Marina:


  • Property Price = AED 2,400,000 (£508,981)
  • Deposit (25% for first property) = AED 600,000 (£127,245)
  • Brokers Fee (2% of property price) = AED 48,000 (£10,179)
  • Mortgage Processing Fee (1% of loan amount) = AED 18,000 (£3,817)
  • Mortgage Valuation Fee (average, this varies per broker) = AED 2,500 (£530)
  • Mortgage Registration Fee (0.25% of loan amount) = AED 4,500 (£954)
  • Dubai Land Department Fee (4% of property price) = AED 96,000 (£20,359)
  • Mortgage Value (remaining 75% of property price) = AED 1,800,000

Total Initial Outlay = AED 769,000 (£672,065)

(conversions based on the exchange rate at the time of this article being written; 20th Nov 2018)


Firstly, to get the mortgage application underway, you will need to present different documentation to your chosen Dubai mortgage broker or lender. Although this varies between lenders, the minimum is usually:

  • Copies of identification, such as your passport
  • Evidence of your current home address or proof of your residence in Dubai
  • Documents proving you can afford the proposed mortgage repayments
  • Documents to show you’re creditworthy such as bank statements and wage slips

The actual steps of obtaining your mortgage in Dubai usually consist of the following:

  1. Decide on your chosen mortgage broker or bank lender
  2. Enquire and research their various mortgage terms and types
  3. Choose a mortgage that suits your requirements
  4. Find a local lawyer in Dubai who can talk you through the process and offer assistance
  5. Complete and submit the required paperwork for finance pre-approval
  6. Your bank will inform you what they agree to lend you, usually by letter
  7. Start visiting houses for sale in Dubai; choose a home that you love and can afford
  8. When you have found a Dubai home for sale you want to buy, agree on a price with the seller
  9. Pay your mortgage deposit to secure your new home and agree on a completion date
  10. Complete and submit any additional documentation to finalise your mortgage

Generally speaking, if you can afford the initial down payment required when buying Dubai real estate, purchasing a property is far more advantageous than renting. Dubai’s rental market is competitive and often claimed by many to be over-valued.

Renting is considered as ‘dead money’, and your money goes a lot further if you are in a position to buy. Dubai properties are also an excellent means of investment, earning you a welcomed bit of profit when you come to sell your home in Dubai.

If you have recently purchased property in Dubai, you will need an international removals company to ship your personal and household belongings to the City of Gold.

Anglo Pacific has been shipping to Dubai for over 30 years,’ becoming au fait with the Emirate, its port’s and the quickest, most efficient ways to get your personal effects to you. For more information on how we can make your migration easy when you buy a house in Dubai, contact us on 0800 633 5445, or use the form below and we will be in touch!

Get a free online quote in a few easy steps

Video Survey
Video Survey

Call us to arrange your video survey.

A video survey allows us to virtually assess the volume of your move. Using your phone or laptop as the camera, you can guide us from room to room showing the objects you wish to move. It allows us to see anything fragile, so we can arrange appropriate packing for you, and check things like access to your property to avoid changes to your quotation at a later date.

Our Anglo Pacific app offers cyber security and is GDPR compliant. It’s really easy to set up, call us and we’ll agree a suitable appointment time for your online meeting. It’s as simple as that!

  • Book a remote video survey
  • Show us your items
  • Get your quote

Featured companies
and accreditation